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Power Rankings: Sleeping giants have awoken from their slumber

by | Baseball Blogger

The thing about a sleeping giant is it's eventually going to wake up. Sometimes that happens too late when it comes to talented sports teams that go through extended stretches of poor play. But look at the Angels and, though they were never overly bad, the Yankees. At some point, especially in baseball's marathon of a season, talent takes over.

That's starting to happen with the Tigers.

This is a club that is very similarly constructed to the one that went 95-67 last season. And no, this isn't where you call me an idiot because you think I don't know Prince Fielder wasn't on last year's team, Miguel Cabrera didn't play third base, etc. I said "similarly constructed," not "the exact same team."

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Being that it's similar, would it be shocking to see them play lights-out again in the second half? They recently got Austin Jackson back from the disabled list, just got Doug Fister back from the DL (again), Alex Avila is out on a rehab assignment and they could get Victor Martinez back for the final few weeks of the season. From this exact point last season, the Tigers went 58-37. Why can't this group do the same?

It's already starting to happen, actually. The Tigers were six games under .500 and six games back in the AL Central after losing to the Reds on June 8. Since then, they are 7-2 and have crawled back to within a mere two games of first place. Once a team that has done it before starts to get hot, it can gather momentum rather quickly, along with the return of swagger.

The Tigers were a sleeping giant. They're just starting to wake up -- and we aren't even to the halfway point in the season.

Rankings, comments and stats are through Tuesday. Feel free to contact me via email with comments: matt.snyder@cbsinteractive.com


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